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PRESS RELEASE


Ban Ki Moon Denounces Saudi Crimes: Another MSF Hospital Bombed

Aug. 16, 2016 (EIRNS)—Yesterday the Saudis followed up their bombing of a school and residential area in Yemen over the weekend, with the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Hajjah province. Local officials say 15 people were killed in the strike (MSF says 11); 20 others were wounded, and the hospital’s emergency room was destroyed. A hospital official said that the nearest Houthi militia activity was 35 miles away.

"Today’s airstrike appears to be the latest in a string of unlawful attacks targeting hospitals, highlighting an alarming pattern of disregard for civilian life,"

said Magdalena Mughrabi, an Amnesty International official. Al Masdar reported this morning that the Saudis followed this up by smothering Sana’a and the surrounding areas with even more air strikes.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon denounced the actions by the Saudi-British-American coalition in strong terms. A press statement from his UN office read:

"Hospitals and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law, and any attack directed against them, or against any civilian persons or infrastructure, is a serious violation of international humanitarian law."

UNICEF’s Yemen representative Julien Harneis said yesterday that the number of children killed in Saudi air strikes in Yemen has risen sharply in the recent period. He refuted the Saudi claim that the earlier air strike on the weekend, the one that hit a school and killed 19 people, mostly children, was targeted at Houthi recruitment for their militias.

"The Houthis do not recruit children so young into their militias. We spoke with the parents; we checked the ages; we visited the site, and there is nothing to indicate it was anything other than a Koranic school,"

Harneis said. Aid agencies say well over 2,000 children have been killed or wounded since the start of the war.

Harneis said the humanitarian situation was deteriorating as violence escalated and the country became increasingly cut off.

"You have got this real pressure cooker with a collapsing economy and a collapsing health system," he said.

"All across the board, it’s just getting worse. I have never seen anything so bad. It’s just appalling." He said that the destruction of the health care system would mean that an additional 10,000 children under five would die this year from preventable causes such as diarrhea and measles:

"This is one example of the second- and third-order effects of the Saudi campaign that I keep talking about. I’m sure that in all of these wars that the U.S. is directly or indirectly involved in, these effects kill far more people than are killed directly by bombs and bullets, but they don’t get nearly as much attention."